As warm summer days dwindle, many of us are saddened to think our opportunities for day drinking might also be waning. However, you don't need to be at the beach or pool to enjoy one too many drinks during daylight hours. The members and editors at VirtualTourist.com have put together a crop of five not-to-miss boozy brunches, scattered around the U.S, each with its own special twist to ensure a unique and unforgettable experience.
1. Foreign Cinema, San Francisco
A landmark in the Mission District of San Francisco, Foreign Cinema is a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience -- a restaurant serving California Mediterranean cuisine, set in an industrial building, complete with an outdoor courtyard that shows foreign and historical movies. The restaurant's brunch specialties include Baguette French toast with bananas and orange-cardamom butter, brown sugar smoked bacon, and a culinary version of a childhood favorite: the Fruit Pop Tart. The highlight of the brunch is the industrial venue and the films on loop: upcoming films thru October include Internal Affairs (the film upon which Scorsese's The Departed was based), The Red Violin and Big Man Japan.
2. LAVO, New York City
The definition of boozy brunch has been perfected by New York City's LAVO, a sister to the Las Vegas operation of the same name. Located in NYC's midtown east, LAVO hosts an infamous Champagne brunch, which this past summer was themed as "Bikini Brunch," leading to lines of girls circling the block at East 58th Street in beachwear. While it's hard to imagine being able to enjoy Gone Bananas Pancakes (made with caramelized banana pudding, rum caramel and candied walnuts) or the Chocolate Chip Pancake "Sunday" (with chocolate sauce, marshmallow sauce, chocolate gelato, and whipped cream) while so scantily clad, perhaps this fall's themes will involve more clothes?
3. Bagatelle, Los Angeles
An off-shoot of the One Group's venue of the same name in New York City, no place has brought the wildness of urban day drinking to Los Angeles quite like Bagatelle. Though the menu is distinctly French, the vibe is a unique hybrid of European bistro and Parisian nightclub, with a rotating list of DJs who spin dance music as the afternoon progresses. The cocktail menu is equal in size to the food menu, and "Les Punchbowls" are where the party really begins. Once you and a friend split a punchbowl called "A Smashing Good Time," you're expected to get up and dance.
4. District Commons, Washington, D.C.
While it may never be the most talked about address onPennsylvania Avenue (it has tough competition from the White House), the brunch at District Commons is certainly a hot topic of discussion among the see-and-be-seen set in our nation's capital. The restaurant is billed as a "21st-century take on the traditional American tavern," with the brunch menu tending toward the hearty side, including oysters, flatbreads, and even "The Pig Board," the restaurant's charcuterie of American artisanal hams. However, it was not the food, but the brunch cocktail list that enticed us. In addition to the Bottomless Bloody Mary or Bottomless Blood Orange Mimosa option, the restaurant also offers a "Bloody Mary Flight," which includes a 5-ounce sample of each of the three Bloody Mary varieties offered at the restaurant.
5. Stubb's Bar-B-Q, Austin, Texas
Stubb's Bar-B-Q is a storied Texan tradition. While serving as a staff sergeant in the Korean War, Christopher "Stubb" Stubblefield oversaw daily meals for as many as 10,000 soldiers. Upon returning to Texas, he opened his first restaurant inLubbock. In the 1970s, his restaurant became a home stage of sorts to legendary music greats Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. The Lubbock location is now closed, but Stubb's continues the tradition of great music and good food at its Austin location.
While Stubb's might be primarily known as an old-school music venue, it is also the originator of the "Gospel Brunch," now widespread by the likes of the House of Blues. A Sunday spent at Stubb's means a "Build Your Own" Bloody Mary Bar and plates overflowing with brisket, fried catfish, migas, biscuits and cornbread, as well as fantastic gospel music. The acoustics are amazing, every seat has a great view, and the drinks are strong. This is a unique opportunity to truly experience all of the trademarks Austin is known for -- great musical performances, old-school food, and people who love a good time.